“We are all worms, but I do believe I am a glow worm.” – Winston Churchill


Glow Worms in a Cave


I admire this quote because it concisely identifies the baseness of mankind while acknowledging our unique individuality endowed by the Creator. The context of this statement is not clearly documented within historical texts, however, we might extrapolate from other writings of Churchill that this was probably a demonstration of his own hubris than humility. Churchill stated throughout his life that he believed he was destined for significant role in history. Nonetheless, I think his statement contains an important principle.

I consistently value  my fellow man based upon a multitude of standards. Money, possessions, beauty, intellect, education, influence or moral fortitude to name a few. We quite like to focus on our self perceived elevated status in comparison to others as a justification of our own self worth However, if we view ourselves in our common plight, as worms, this erases our ability to devalue our fellow man.

This provides an accurate perspective from which we can marvel at the skills, personality, etc. that have been beset upon one another. Indeed, while we are all worms each one is a particular type of worm. I think this is the same principle the founders of the United States ingrained into the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Declaration of Independence

Further how can we incorporate the Golden Rule into our actions if we don’t believe in the basic equality of mankind? You can not love someone as yourself if you view that person as in a lower class than you.

I do not write this as a shot over the bow of individual accomplishment but rather as a reminder to myself the lens through which I should consider myself and my fellow man. We are all worms but I do believe I am a peculiar worm. I maybe a Twitter worm.

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